Telluride could very well be my happy place. It's about a 6 hour drive from Denver, which is definitely a trek, but even the drive is beautiful. The town of Telluride is a former Victorian mining town, nestled into a box canyon, with stunning views every direction you look. Walking down main street, there are tons of restaurants, shops, coffee shops, quaint hotels, bars filled with live music, and the historic opera house. Bridal Falls, a 365 foot waterfall at the end of the box canyon, overlooks the entire town and is always in view as you stroll down the street.
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This was my third year going to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and I fully intend to carry on the tradition. We arrived Thursday afternoon and got settled into our amazing condo in Mountain Village, which is just a gondola ride away from town. After unpacking and unloading the car (full of a Costco supply of food and drink to last through the weekend), we promptly went into town for a few drinks. For dinner, we went to one of the most amazing Thai restaurants called Siam. It is authentic Thai cuisine that you can't stop eating even after you're stuffed!
Friday morning I hiked Bear Creek Falls trail with some of my girlfriends. This is a hike I have done every time for the past three years and it never gets old! The trail can get a bit crowded, especially later in the day on these busy festival weekends, so we made it a point to get an early start. The trail is around 5 miles round trip and is moderate in difficulty. It is a steady incline the majority of the way, but the gorgeous views are there to distract you and then it ends at this incredible waterfall. We actually witnessed a proposal right when we got to the top. Cue the goosebumps! I would highly recommend this hike to anyone going to Telluride. The trail head is right in town, so you don't have to drive at all, and then at the end, you're right back in town to grab a sandwich. My guilty please is The Butcher & The Baker, which has the best sandwiches, salads, and little deli sides!
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After the hike and my well deserved sandwich at the end, it was time to head into the festival! If you have never been to a Telluride Bluegrass Festival, then add it to your list! Period. Even if you're not the biggest bluegrass fan, there is something about being in such a gorgeous location, surrounded by your closest friends, and enjoying this fun fiddle music while sipping on a cold drink that just cannot be beat.
Every morning hundreds of people start lining up to get a number to do the running of the tarps. I'm not even joking, last year a guy sitting in front of us broke his arm during the tarp run! It is intense to say the least. Definitely something to witness!
There really isn't a bad seat in the house but luckily we have a seasoned veteran in our group that is a VIP tarp runner and always gets us nice real estate. Once in the festival, it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the bluegrass! The festival food is not to be missed either! Some of my personal favorites are the dumplings, gyros, and fish tacos. My mouth is honestly watering just thinking about them!
The festival goes until midnight every day, so around 5 or 6 pm, we usually go back to the condo to quickly change into our warm clothes and then head back in to catch the headliner! This year Greensky played Friday night and Dispatch on Saturday. Both killed it!
Saturday was day 2 for us and after another successful tarp run by our VIP veteran, we settled into our spot and enjoyed another beautiful day in Telluride. Imagine being surrounded by multicolored tarps, many of which have custom flags to identify their location, good people, good food, and good music. Combine that with the 360 mountain views and you have Telluride.
Packing for the festival, I went for a mix of Coachella meets Burning Man, with a mountain casual vibe. It gets pretty hot during the day there, around mid-80s and then cools off at night quickly. Daytime calls for shorts and a breezy tank top or lightweight sundress and nighttime requires jeans, boots, a flannel, and jacket. Anything honestly goes here though. You can wear tevas and a tye dye shirt and no one will even look twice. You do you at Telluride!
For more information on Telluride Bluegrass Festival, click here.